Light Sport Circumnavigation Launched

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Two Swiss airline pilots left their home base of Sion Friday on an around-the-world flight intended to promote "ecological and economical general aviation" and encourage young people to take up flying. Yannick Bovier and Francisco Agullo are also marking the 100th anniversary of the first flights in Switzerland by taking a pair of Flight Design CTLS aircraft on the challenging westward circumnavigation. Within a couple of days of their departure they were scheduled to face their first major test with a 2,000-mile mid-Atlantic crossing from West Africa to Brazil. They'll spend a couple of days in the U.S. likely next week.

The pair is scheduled to land in Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas and Monterey, Calif., before island-hopping across the Pacific. The aircraft have extra fuel tanks and are equipped with extra navigation and communications gear.